Nigeria and some other African countries which include Gabon, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar will experience a lunar eclipse tomorrow September 1, starting from 9 a.m. The solar spectacle is sometimes referred to as a "Ring of Fire" eclipse.
Unlike its better-known relative the total solar eclipse, an annular eclipse occurs when the moon does not completely blot out the sun. For viewers on the ground, instead of witnessing a white halo they will see red slivers of sunlight shining around the moon’s dark silhouette.
“If they look up with protective eye wear they are going to see this strange ring in the sky, more spectacularly they will see these circular shadows,” said C. Alex Young, a solar astrophysicist from NASA. “It’s a cool event, the shadows are kind of eerie.”
The reason every eclipse isn’t a total solar eclipse has to do with the moon’s elliptical orbit. At some points along its journey it is closer to Earth and at some points it is farther away.
“It’s that sweet spot when it’s just right in between the two that you get the total eclipse,” said Dr. Young. “This is not exactly the sweet spot, it’s a little too far away.”